Lee Resistant and the Lost are kicking out classy punk tunes from their base in Canada. We’re curious and Lee was happy to talk.
Lee Resistant was the front man in the legendary punk band Fletcher.
That project folded in 2005. But the last few years have seen a new direction in the form of Lee Resistant and the Lost, now based in Canada, but still pumping out super-charged punk rock. Most recently in the form of 2019’s EP Thirteen Years Gone By..., which we’ll guess is an acknowledgment to the intervening years since the Fletcher days.
The EP is a keeper. Short, sharp and urgent. It’s full of classy riffs and Lee’s rasping vocals. It’s a must listen.
Naturally, we were up for a chat.
P3dro: Where are you and what are you doing?
Lee: I am in my basement in Chatham Kent, Ontario. On a cold Saturday morning. Drinking a nice cup of Tim Horton’s Earl Grey tea.
P3dro: We didn’t think you could get tea in Canada.
Lee: Yeah, you can, although some of it is not the best, but Earl Grey seems to be OK most everywhere. Builders’ tea tastes like fucking dog piss, though.
P3dro: Give us a little potted history of Lee Resistant and the Lost. Tell us how you get to where you are now.
Lee: I started doing acoustic shows on my own. Then a couple of years into that I was writing songs that had more of a band feel, so I put an EP together, called 42/43. I was going to do a track a month for 2018, but it was a lot more work than I figured it might be. So, it ended up being a five track EP.
Towards the end of that year, I thought it would be fun to make the last show of the year a full band show. So, I got a few guys together and then it was, like: “Oh, I’ve missed being in a band, This is fun“.
So, to fill out the set, we dug up a few of the old Fletcher songs. I’d never thought I’d get to play as a band again, so it was fun to dust those off.
Then the first recording we did as a full band was a Vanilla Pod cover. And then we just extended that, so the first EP as a full band was three old Fletcher songs and an old song from my first band in Canada, The Rucks. It was a bridge between the past and the present, I think.
P3dro: How did you end up in Canada?
Lee: After Fletcher ended my life was falling apart – substance problems, but I had an opportunity to come out to Canada. So, I started visiting and then about 14 years ago, I ended up coming out here [permanently].
The short version of that story is MySpace and a girl!
Although I’ve done dumber shit for dumber reasons! I was never really one of these “plan your life out” guys. And then 6 months of coming out here, I found out I was going to be a Dad, so I stuck around. She didn’t. My boy will be 13 in April.
I’ve been with my fiancée for about 5 years. She has three kids, so we’re nice big family of six. A dog and about six rats. It’s cool.
It’s a long way from being fucked up in the back of a Transit van with no light.
P3dro: How has the last year been?
Lee: We started off by putting the ‘Trusty Chorus’ single out, along with a video. I was working on doing the pre-production for the full length album, which has been written for a year and a half, now. But once the lockdown kicked in I did a couple of acoustic live streams. And then it was just a shut down on the music front. I had no motivation and ended up doing other things and having a break.
I wrote two songs in the whole of last year. Which is not the most prolific I’ve ever been.
P3dro: We think that’s fair comment. Some people have been really productive in lockdown. Others have sat in a corner, quietly sobbing away.
Lee: I think, for me, if I was making my living out of music, then I probably would have kept busy and been more productive. And used that time a bit more wisely. But because it’s not my living I had a chance to take a step back and not have to be whoring myself on the internet. It was nice not to have that pressure of constantly having to put yourself out there and get in peoples’ faces for their attention.
It’s not like the old days, when you’d play a show and a couple of guys would see you. And then they would go and tell their mates, buy the record and word of mouth was a much more organic thing.
The people who were into Fletcher were into that band because they liked that band. Not because some social media algorithm had suggested it 100 times a day until they gave in.
P3dro: Fletcher were around well before social media.
Lee: Yeah, right at the start. MySpace and things like that. It was fun at the time, but we’re from a generation where we didn’t live life vicariously through a phone screen. You could go to a show and one person may have had a VHS camcorder, but nobody cared. It wasn’t as though they were all holding up a phone to record it.
Live it. Live the experience.
P3dro: What kind of gigs are you doing?
Lee: I was doing as many as possible. I just enjoy playing music and hopefully put stuff out there that matters to some people. My favourite songs matter to me. It’s that connection rather than anything else. Fame and fortune are not on the cards.
P3dro: You’re website mentions the album coming out in 2020? Are we gonna see the album any time soon?
Lee: Yes. Yes. The next single was written back in July. We tracked it in August. But then I’ve just been sitting on my hands not thinking about music. So, I’ve just started working on that to get all the editing done, to get it mixed and then we’ll throw that out there.
‘Trusty Chorus’ was intended to be a hold while we worked on the full length. But obviously that plan has been moved back 12 months. So, we’ll put out another single as a hold over and then, hopefully get the full length done.
P3dro: Any kind of timescale?
Lee: Well, we’ve been on a stay home lockdown, so the band can’t even get together. I’ll try and get all the pre-production stuff done. I’ll be recording it myself. It’s been a weird year.
P3dro: Where do you think you get your musical influences from?
Lee: A lot of places. Springsteen, bands like Face to Face, Social Distortion, The Loved Ones. I like a lot of 90s indie stuff, too, like Pavement, Catatonia. I like guitars. I like hooks. I’m a sucker for a good hook.
P3dro: Do you think you’re a punk band?
Lee: That’s the most apt description of what we do.
P3dro: And what does that mean to you?
Lee: It’s not something I have to think about. It’s just something that I am. I know what makes my brain and my heart go: “Shit, I love that”. More often than not, that’s punk rock music.
P3dro: We like that.
Lee: The acoustic stuff gives me a lot more leeway to branch out a bit. But, in my heart, I’ve always felt like a band guy. I’ve always liked being part of a unit.
P3dro: That’s an interesting point. What’s the tension between playing on your own and being in a band. How do the two dynamics work?
Lee: I’m not entirely sure! There’s something about being in a band, blasting a song and making eye contact with the guys you’re playing with. You don’t need to say anything, you just know.
I get the same kick out of playing music on a big stage, or walking around the house in my underpants with an acoustic guitar. I love playing music, so being able to go and do that on my own means I don’t have any limits on what I can do, or not do. I don’t have to check with three other guys.
But having the option of the full band as well – sometimes you just wanna go and rock.
I guess 2020 is the best metaphor. For most people in bands, that’s what they miss the most, getting together with their buddies to play music. Four guys in a basement, blasting. That’s good fun.
P3dro: In a fantasy world, if you could go and see any band in any venue right now, who would that be and where?
Lee: It would be the E Street Band with Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici at the London Astoria. I’m gutted that place has gone. And for no good reason.
P3dro: We’ll come along with you to that one if you can sort us a ticket. Recommend a band or an album you think we should be listening to right now.
Lee: Ah, I haven’t listened to new music in a while. All I’ve done in the last year, not having had a haircut, is to regress to the 15 year old me. All summer, I’ve been watching Metallica live shows on YouTube.